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PBS
Dec 21, 2012 4:00pm PST
few minutes ago. >> i just spoke to speaker boehner and i also met with senator reid. i have asked the leaders of congress to prevent tax hikes on middle-class americans, protect unemployment insurance for 2 million americans, and lay the groundwork for further work. that is an achievable goal. that can get down in 10 days. >> president obama there on the upcoming fiscal cliff. joining me now to discuss the standoff is the bbc's ben wright. thank you very much. was there anything in the president's speech that would give us any cause for optimism that is the cliff can beat averted? >> i thought his tone was interesting. he was optimistic an exasperated at the same time. he reminded people in congress they only have 10 days left to find a deal before there's this huge hike in taxes and cuts in spending. he said a deal of some sort is an achievable goal. he reminded people in congress that nobody can get 100% of what they want. democrats are trying to protect spending. republicans are fighting any tax increases at all, but he had a warning, too, and said it is not the time for more self-
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